The story of a colonel, a hearth truck, submit workplace, railroad station and a combat between cities.
In my frequent dive into native historical past, I got here throughout one thing I hadn’t totally understood earlier than: How a Bucks County city discarded its identify after an emotional combat with a neighboring city over the naming of a submit workplace.
Earlier than 1790, William Richardson Atlee arrange for enterprise as an legal professional in a crossroads village referred to as 4 Lanes Finish in Decrease Bucks County.
The settlement clustered round a four-way intersection of two stage coach routes, one operating between New York and Philadelphia and the opposite between Bristol and Easton.
Invoice’s declare to fame is his daddy. Revolutionary Warfare Col. Samuel Atlee commanded troops who valiantly recaptured Outdated Stone Home twice within the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776 earlier than being overrun by the British.
“Good God, what courageous males should I lose today!” shouted George Washington from a distance.
Taken prisoner, Atlee was launched two years later. His son Invoice later married the daughter of Gen. Anthony “Mad Anthony” Wayne, one in all Washington’s most fiery and outstanding commanders.
With this patriotic pedigree, Invoice’s legislation agency flourished, as did 4 Lanes Finish. A lot so that folk determined to purchase a horse-drawn fireplace engine to guard the neighborhood. They raised the equal of $9,000 right this moment to purchase the gear from a Philadelphia producer.
Because the pumper neared completion, the corporate inquired a few identify to be painted on the equipment.
Since Atlee had been a principal contributor, somebody advised it’s named for him. However when it arrived in 1790, “Atleebury” was painted on either side. Oh, properly.
Sixteen years later in 1806, the federal authorities opened a submit workplace in 4 Lanes Finish named after the fireplace truck. Kinda.
On April Idiot’s Day, the stone constructing proclaimed “Attleborough.” It wasn’t lengthy earlier than 4 Lanes Finish retreated into historical past in favor of the submit workplace identify.
However wait. There’s extra.
In 1876, the North Pennsylvania Railroad constructed a brand new line from Philadelphia to Sure Brook, New Jersey, serving passengers in Attleborough and the affluent mill city of Hulmeville on Neshaminy Creek to the east. The railroad constructed a depot on the Attleborough border a mile from Hulmeville.
Naturally, borough officers insisted the constructing be named Hulmeville Station. The proud of us of Attleborough demanded it’s Attleborough Station.
As the talk raged, the railroad grew to become impatient. The nice Philadelphia Centennial Exposition marking the nation’s 100th birthday was quick approaching. Trains could be packed. Franklin Comly, president on the railroad, needed a reputation pronto. Neither city would relent.
In frustration, Comly took cost. The station could be referred to as Langhorne.
It appeared a logical alternative. Your entire space was as soon as Langhorne Park, a 7,200-acre farm and mansion owned by Jeremiah Langhorne, a Quaker and former chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Courtroom.
What Comley won’t have realized is Jeremiah owned scores of slaves working his plantation who had been freed upon his dying in 1742. That a part of Langhorne Park’s legacy had been shuffled into the deep background by the 19th century when the prepare station was constructed.
For passengers arriving on the new Langhorne station, there was no such city. Attleborough shortly remedied that by adopting Langhorne as its new identify.
Fourteen years after the station opened, an prosperous mansion growth district in Langhorne subsequent to the depot integrated as its personal municipality of lower than a sq. mile.
Langhorne Manor Borough’s boundary successfully separated Langhorne from its prepare station. As for Hulmeville, it additionally grew to become separated from the station by the formation of a brand new city on the Hulmeville aspect of the tracks referred to as Eden in its earliest days.
Seizing the day at its integrated in 1889, officers selected a brand new identify. Drum roll, please.
When the brand new Attleborough obtained its personal submit workplace, mail addressed to Attleborough usually was routed to the previous Attleborough P.O. There was a lot turmoil residents appealed to county courtroom for but a brand new identify — South Langhorne. Deal.
Native jockeying over city names appeared lastly to return to an finish till the mid-1940s arrived. South Langhorne hankered for a brand new id after changing into a business/industrial sizzling spot. So, in 1947 the previous Eden, former Attleborough, former South Langhorne grew to become Penndel.
At this time, land builders interact in a modified model of this identify recreation in different areas of Bucks. As an illustration, builders of housing developments in northern Middletown have persuaded the U.S. Publish Workplace to have mail within the new developments sorted within the Yardley Publish Workplace moderately than in Langhorne. Why? Property is extra worthwhile with a Yardley deal with. And so it goes.
Roughly 30 years in the past, the submit workplace in Morrisville, which sorted mail for Falls and Decrease Makefield, closed and moved to a brand new bigger facility in Falls. Thus far there’s been no clamor in Falls or Decrease Makefield to rename themselves Morrisville.
Sources embody “Place Names in Bucks County Pennsylvania” by George MacReynolds revealed in 1942 by the Bucks County Historic Society, and and a speech by Gen. W. W. H. Davis to the Bucks County Historic Society on April 18, 1882, as revealed by Dwelling Locations on the net at www.livingplaces.com/PA/Bucks_County/Langhorne_Borough/Attleborough.html.
Carl LaVO, a retired information editor and writer of six books together with “Bucks County Adventures, Vol. 1 and a pair of,” obtainable at native guide shops, may be reached at email@example.com.
— to theintell.com